Over the weekend, the Universal and Illumination Entertainment sequel -- returning the character Gru and his army of minions to the big screen -- grossed $41.5 million from only seven international markets for an early foreign total of $50 million (it opened in Australia last weekend).
Universal insiders pointed out that Despicable Me 2 came in No. 4 internationally for the weekend, even though Man of Steel, World War Z and fellow animated tentpole Monsters University are playing in many more markets. Disney and Pixar's Monsters U, for example, is playing in 37 territories and earned $44.2 million for the weekend. ...
Despicable 2 -- bowing in North America on Tuesday, the eve of the lucrative July 4th holiday frame -- is pacing ahead of Despicable Me, Kung Fu Panda 2, The Croods, Shrek Forever After and the last two Madagascar pics in the same seven territories.
And in Australia, Despicable 2 is beating Monsters U (a hit in its own right, having crossed $300 million worldwide in its second weekend). Australia is the only market so far where both toons are playing. ...
There's been the worry that animated features will cannibalize one another as they over-saturate the market, but we haven't seen much evidence of that.
Monsters U is doing well and Despicable Me 2 is already tearing up the track in its early release pattern. When there is a movie audiences want to see, they go see that movie. Nobody sits around saying:
"Oh ... wait a minute! We've used up our viewing quota on animation for the month! No more animated features for us!"
Just like nobody ever says that live-action features are over-saturating the market. (Well, maybe live-action features about the White Houe being taken over, but outside of that ...)
If a picture pleases the viewing public, that public will show up to watch it. The format has little to do with ultimate box office performance.